SINGAPORE -They surprised everyone at last year's SEA Games, finishing first in the women's duilian (unarmed), a wushu event which they were competing in for the first time.
Yesterday, it was taiji specialists Vera Tan and Valerie Wee who were surprised, after the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) appeals committee confirmed the duo's participation at this September's Asian Games.
They will be taking part in the taijiquan/taijijian all-round - an individual event - in Incheon, South Korea.
Twenty-five year-old Wee, who will commence full-time training in Fujian, China, next month, said: "I was praying very hard for the appeal to go through, because I felt I did not do very well in the individual events at the SEA Games. This will be my second Asian Games. I'm certain my training will help me better my sixth-placed finish at the last Asian Games."
On the other hand, Vera will be making her Asiad debut. The 16-year-old said: "I want to prove myself at Asian level."
The duo were joined by 11 other athletes from four sports after the first round of appeals.
Rounding up wushu's successful appeals were SEA Games bronze medallists Lee Tze Yuan and Yong Yi Xiang.
Lee clinched a bronze medal in the taijiquan/taijijian bronze medal at the last SEA Games. He also paired up with Yong for a bronze in the men's duilian (unarmed).
Other athletes whose appeals were approved include trap shooter Mohamed Zain Amat and badminton women's doubles pair Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari.
Singapore will now be represented by 223 athletes from 19 sports. The number will likely increase before the SNOC submits its final list on Aug 15. Several US-based swimmers, including Joseph Schooling, will be trying to qualify for the Asiad next month.
Athletes selected for 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea: Yao Lei, Shinta Mulia Sari (badminton), Jonathan Woo, Jerome Ng, Marc Ong, Abdul Hadi, Nicklaus Chiam (choose four for golf team), Ashly Lau, Janessa Dai (gymnastics), Mohd Zain Amat (shooting), Lee Tze Yuan, Yong Yi Xiang, Valerie Wee, Vera Tan (wushu).
This article was published on April 25 in The Straits Times.
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